Research studies in which new tests are performed and identification of new ways to prevent, detect, treat, or to manage cancer and other diseases are called clinical trials. These tests are initially performed on animals and at later stage with people only if the results are promising. A clinical trial helps in determining the best type of treatment for a particular type of cancer or breast cancer.
Types of clinical trials
Basing on the purpose clinical trials are classified as treatment trials, prevention trials, screening trials, supportive care trials and diagnostic trials. Treatment trials are performed for drugs or methods of surgery or radiation which gives new ways for treatments and also to make the existing one better. Prevention trials are performed to search for new ways which lower the risk of cancer and also to stop them from coming back. Screening trials are performed to find ways in which cancer can be identified in an early stage even before the symptoms can be seen. Diagnostic trials are performed to find better ways for staging and to diagnose a cancer. Supportive care trials help in determining ways for improving the quality of life for cancer survivors and people living with cancer and also to improve the comfort of their lives.
Phases- When a new treatment is invented it is tested through several steps known as phases. Phase 1 trials are performed to determine the safety and the doses required for the treatment. Phase 2 trials are performed to look for how the treatment functions for a particular cancer and its type. Phase 3 trials compares the new invented method with the previously existing standard treatment. Phase 4 trials are performed to collect information regarding the possible effects including the beneficial as well as harmful effects. To find out the effectiveness of a treatment the researchers measure it based on a particular endpoint like survival, CT scans before and after treatment. For approval of a drug it takes more than ten years of time.
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